What do u call a temple that serves beer?
We are not being rude, that was the name of the fabulous temple we stayed at, at the top of Mount Koyasan. The temple village takes 2 hours to get to by train, cable car and the bus from Osaka but is worth the trek to experience a night in an actual Bhuddist temple.
We selected our temple because you could book it online, they apparently spoke decent English AND they had an onsen… Another Japanese experience which you must do… So I thought we could knock em both out at once! Lol
For the steep prices you pay, you get a vegetarian Japanese dinner and breakfast and a very authentic royakan style room with tatami mat flooring and futons to sleep on. What shocked us though was that on arrival, after showing us to our room, the host asked us if we wanted a beer!!! Kind of didn’t know what to say, so informed them that we did not drink alcohol.. Ye that’s right, I got high and mighty with the temple monks! …
As we had got there pretty early, we thought we’d take advantage of no-one else being there yet and get into the onsen… Now you may be wondering, what of this onsen that I keep mentioning? Well, they are the Japanese hot spring tubs! Sounds pretty tame.. Yes well the main point which I’m shying away from (excuse the pun) is that you have to get in there naked! … The etiquette is that you shower up, very thoroughly, and then get right into the hot tub in your best birthday suit! … It’s supposed to make you more open and friendly to your fellow hot tubbers! Surprising ei? Before anyone asks, men and women’s onsens are SEPARATE! Sorry guys!
Anywho, after that fun experience, we wandered round the really pretty gardens, sat and enjoyed their zen garden before being served dinner in our room. It is a fun experience having a full Japanese meal served to you in your room where you sit on the floor and eat with chopsticks despite not having a clue what the difference is between one dish and the next! The food was surprisingly good but as expected most of the dishes (and there were a LOT of dishes) were composed of tofu. Rishi was in heaven!
Before heading off to an early night’s rest, we tried out a calligraphy class upon Rishi’s request… That was interesting.. Hmm…
The next morning in the early… early, frosty hours of the day, we joined the monks for their prayers… This is obviously great to see especially because the shrine was so amazing in the morning light but we cannot lie… By the end of it, both Rish and I were trying our best to stay awake and warm! Still highly recommend doing this though.
After our Japanese breakfast, we did consider another dip in the onsen, but thought we’d shared and experienced enough so went to wander the town.
The other temples are good to see.. Pick and choose though as there are many.. However they do not compare to those in Kyoto.. My favourite temple, which is the main sight to see here in Koyasan has to be Eko-in (check name)… It is actually a cemetery temple, so after we walked for 2km through the garden of graves
… surprisingly beautiful… we found the temple. The temple is there to protect the tomb of a person who is said to be the only one who will be able to translate the teaching of the next Bhudda to the world. He may be in a tomb, but is not dead, merely meditating. It is a stunning temple with a big gold tables, covered in gold plates and other gold decoration all lit by candles and from the middle you can see through to a gold Bhudda and the tomb. But best of all was the vibe inside which made it phenomenal. We were there when the monks were praying and you could just feel the fantastic energy. Definitely do visit!